Why is Family Important?

Süreyya Saltık

Family is the safest refuge and the first school for people. It is the centre that forms community life. Despite it being the smallest social structure, its importance for humanity is tremendous. Our Lord says that humanity is based on family by saying, “O mankind, fear your Lord, Who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women.”[1]

A human being can meet his material and spiritual needs with the help of his family. Particularly feelings such as love, the desire to be loved, respect, and mercy find their true fulfilment only in the family. The family is the most beautiful place where love keeps growing and sadness is shared and reduced. A good spouse and children are the most precious gifts that one can have in the world. So, the family is like a little paradise for the people even when they are still in the world.

A human being can get rid of suffering from loneliness and troubles by taking refuge in his family. He breathes in the family environment against the challenges of life. The family is a castle where people feel safe in the face of dangers.

The foundation of education is first laid in the family. A human being forms his life with this first education. The extent that people will be able to live their religion rightfully and be useful to other human beings is directly proportional to the quality of education in the family. So the family is the most important educational institution.

Peaceful societies are formed only by a solid family structure. The righteousness learned in the family results in a reliable society. The respect taught at home forms a society consisting of respectful individuals. The individuals who learn obedience to Allah in the family form a society that respects rules. For this reason, the family is the most important structure that forms society.

The family has an important place in determining the future of the nations. Generations that are raised in the family as committed to their material and spiritual values ​​can play a role in establishing the future of a society.

BONDS THAT HOLD FAMILY TOGETHER

Feelings such as respect, love, trust and sacrifice are the basic values of family life.  The happiness of the family depends on the existence of these values. If these values ​​are damaged, the family faces many troubles.

The most basic bond for the family is a sincere and serious respect. Mutual respect strengthens relations of family members with each other. Because of respect, family members become more understanding towards each other. If there is no respect, even the smallest issues will cause severe distress in the family.

In a family with healthy relationships, faults and flaws are met with patience and tolerance. The family members try not to hurt each other’s hearts. Faults are removed by communication, not by breaking the heart.

One of the important bonds that hold the family together is love. Spouses should build their love towards each other not on temporary youth and beauty but on good morals. As it is said in the verse of “They and their spouses shall be in the shades, reclining on adorned coaches.”[2] the spouses should see each other as an eternal friends both in the world and in the Hereafter. This idea increases love and respect in the family. It results in a happy life.

Another bond that strengthens the foundation of the family is mutual trust. As long as the environment of trust is maintained in the family, all members of the family will spend their best moments when they are together. The bonds of the family can be severely damaged if there is a lack of mutual trust. Family members cannot be in peace in such an environment. Individuals who cannot feel that mutual trust and therefore cannot be happy in the family will start looking for that trust and happiness elsewhere. This leads to the disintegration of the family.

One of the strong bonds that keep the family alive is mutual sacrifice. Every member has a responsibility towards the family. The fulfilment of the responsibilities through sacrifice strengthens the bonds between family members. It results in a peaceful family atmosphere.

Because of the bonds we mention, the family will be on solid foundations and the peace of that family will be ensured.

AN EDUCATION CENTRE: FAMILY

The family is the most basic educational institution. The most important part of the education is performed in the family. This educational institution meets many material and spiritual needs of an individual. This education, which begins in the family, continues in school and then in other social areas.

Unlike other creatures, a human being comes into the world in need of education. He learns many things needed for his development in different areas over time and with the help of others. For example a human can only stand on foot after one or two years from when he comes into the world. After living for fifteen years, he begins to notice what is harmful or beneficial in a real sense. People develop and mature in many ways with the education they have during different periods of their life. The first and most effective environment in which education begins is the family. In this respect, the family environment is the basis of human education.

With the help of his family, he can understand what is beneficial and how to avoid what is harmful in many ways.

People’s physical, mental and social needs in many areas are first met in the family. Family members, especially parents, have to deal with the child’s education starting from an early age, even before birth. The awareness of the family is of great importance to the development of the child and to his future educational life. This is because the trace of genuine and permanent education given by the family in the preschool period, where learning is very fast, continues in the school period and afterwards. When the lives of successful people are examined, the importance of education in the early ages in the family is better understood.

The first education that a person takes in a family environment can show its influence in various periods of his life, either positively or negatively.  This is because people learn a lot of knowledge and skills before they reach the age of attending school. In the face of the attitudes and behaviours he faces every day during his childhood, he learns by communicating with family members and imitating them. This determines future relationships that will be established with other people. If there are good feelings such as love, respect, kindness and trust in a family, they will pass directly to the child. If there are good behaviours and habits among the members of a family, they will be rooted in the children.

The family, which is an education centre, should support the school environment where children perform a significant part of their education and training in life. In the past, the families were primarily responsible for all kinds of education and training of their members. Today, however, schools are also a part of this responsibility. In order for a healthy education and training to take place, these educational institutions must have support from the family. Thus, the education and information provided in the family environment will strengthen and will become reinforced with new education and information through training at school.

Religious education, which has a great importance in human education, should not be neglected in a family environment. The beauties of Islam should be taken as basis in the family, and the life of our Prophet should be accepted as the model. Thus, not only the material needs but also the spiritual needs of the family members will be fulfilled. Strong family members targeting the happiness of the world and the Hereafter will also contribute to the development and strengthening of societies.

FAMILY COMMUNICATION

A human being is a social and civilized being by nature. So he cannot live alone; he has to live with other people. He needs to communicate with others in order to meet both his own needs and the needs of others.

The most important place where people need communication is their family. Communication is a base and a foundation for the family. Correct communication in family life is of great importance for the happiness and peace of the family. The continuity of the family life depends on healthy communication between members. Families with communication problems cannot be happy. Family members should strive in order to ensure family communication progresses in a healthy fashion and to prevent communication from being harmed.

If family members value each other’s feelings and thoughts, communication will strengthen. When members fulfil their responsibilities towards each other and tolerate each other, this results in the unity of the family. This unity is the source of communication for people. For this reason, each family member should sacrifice for others. He should want what he wants for himself also for his family. If this is not the case, if the family members live only for themselves, they will see the needs of others as unnecessary. This is also a sign of selfishness. The one who loves and likes his own self a lot does not love and like someone else. The one who does not love and like others does not want to communicate with others.

It is the most important decision to think that Allah intends many benefits for you in the events that you face. In this regard, Almighty Allah says in one of the verses: “And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.”[3] It is necessary to develop positive thinking in the family in order to prevent negative views and hasty decisions in the face of an unpleasant event. “Look at the bright side” should be among the basic principles of family life. It will lead to good ideas and good communication between family members to see the beautiful side of everything.

A healthy communication environment in family life is shaped within the framework of mutual understanding. Since the selfishness of family members causes lack of understanding, communication in the family is damaged. Every family member should not think about only themselves but instead should act with the feeling of ‘we’ in order to prevent this situation. They should also show patience and not be in a hurry when listening to the other side. Thus, mutual understanding will be ensured within the family and common communication points will be established.

One of the most effective reasons for healthy communication in the family is good character. In this regard, the advice of our beloved Prophet (pbuh) should be the guiding principle in family life. He stated the value in the family by saying “The most perfect man in his faith among the believers is the one whose behaviour is most excellent; and the best of them are those who are the best to their family members.”[4] In fact, it was our beloved Prophet (pbuh) who implemented family communication in the healthiest way. He (pbuh) behaved in the best way according to the states of his family members. He respected his wives’ rights, and behaved with his children on their level in the family. His behaviour facilitated communication among his family members.

Imitating our Prophet in family life will both arrange for communication within the family and make Allah well-pleased. Then many communication problems about family will be eliminated and an ideal environment for family communication will be provided. As a result people will have a family environment where the elders are respected and the little ones are showed mercy, a home where loyalty is rooted and a family school where there is appreciation among one another and compliments are given generously.

As a result, communication is the key. Through family communication, members feel themselves precious or worthless, secure or insecure in respect to their interactions with each other. This affects the material and spiritual state of family members. If healthy decisions can be taken, an environment of mutual understanding is formed, good morality is established and an environment of happiness, love and peace will be created through family communication.

[1] The Quran, Surah An-Nisa [The Women], Chapter 4, Verse 1.

[2] The Quran, Surah Ya-Sin [Yasin], Chapter 36, Verse 56.

[3] The Quran, Surah An-Nisa [The Women], Chapter 4, Verse 19.

[4]Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musned, V 2, p. 250.

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